State seeks owner of boat leaking into Savannah River

Monday, Jan. 18, 2010 11:53 AM
Last updated 2:36 PM
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State regulators are working to determine who owns a 41-foot boat abandoned in the Savannah River after it was found to be leaking diesel fuel.

The Net Web had been moored at the Augusta marina at one time and was moved downstream during one of the boat races last year, said Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus.

Rising water pushed the boat higher up on the shoreline, and when the waters receded, the boat tipped and began to leak, he said. It now rests on the Georgia side of the river downstream from the Boathouse and marina.

During the weekend, a U.S. Coast Guard crew responded to the area, along with officials from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Savannah Riverkeeper.

According to a post on the Coast Guard’s Web site, investigators from Marine Safety Unit Savannah helped deploy a fuel-absorbing boom around the boat as a protective barrier for any future contaminants that may leak from the vessel.

The Coast Guard is assisting the Georgia officials with locating the registered owner and developing a plan to remove the remaining pollutants aboard the vessel.

Bonitatibus said the agencies involved are trying to determine the best way to get the boat removed from the river, and also to determine who is responsible for moving it.

“We’re now working with a company called Towboat Savannah,” she said. “We’re hoping they can be up here Tuesday to pump out the rest of the fuel.”

The boat’s former owner, she said, apparently forfeited his ownership after failing to pay his marina slip rental for more than two years.

“So now we think we may have found someone willing to take the boat who may want to fix it up,” Bonitatibus said. “We’re just trying to get it pumped out so it doesn’t spill out any more pollution.”

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draksig
167
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draksig 01/18/10 - 01:13 pm
0
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Treat it like you would a car

Treat it like you would a car abandoned on the side of the road. Have it towed and impounded and if the owner ever comes forward, he pays for towing, storage and all cleanup charges. If not after a period of time, auction the boat off if it is still sea worthy.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 01/18/10 - 03:01 pm
0
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A picture would be helpful,

A picture would be helpful, I'm sure.

disssman
6
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disssman 01/18/10 - 05:28 pm
0
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Uh how about looking in the

Uh how about looking in the file drawer for previous renters. There should be about 5 or 10 of them listed so what is the problem.

humbleopinion
1
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humbleopinion 01/18/10 - 05:44 pm
0
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This is Augusta....They NEVER

This is Augusta....They NEVER do anything the easy, common-sense way....The boat should have a registration number on it and I'll bet that the owner could be found in three minutes on the internet.....But just look at who they hire for legal counsel in the city.....Nothing is every done properly. Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

Junket831
0
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Junket831 01/18/10 - 07:50 pm
0
0
I agree with humbleO, but

I agree with humbleO, but this is more of a federal/state issue. They should already know who the last known owner is/was and that information should be published in the newspaper. That would be the fastest way to locate the owner and start the legal proceedings for charging the owner for cleanup/removal costs.

govols382
0
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govols382 01/18/10 - 07:59 pm
0
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The funny part about this

The funny part about this story is that the boat has been there for over two months and they are just now noticing??? I drive over the bridge everyday to go to work and it has been there since the big rain back in November!

tbonitatibus
4
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tbonitatibus 01/18/10 - 08:15 pm
0
0
The Savannah Riverkeeper has

The Savannah Riverkeeper has known about this boat long before it was even moved to its current location. It was abandoned over 2 years ago, 4 months ago was moved to its current location and abandoned again. We have been trying for 4 months to have it removed. With recent flooding events, the boat was driven ashore, and is now listing towards the river. That's when the discharge began.
First EPD was called, and they sent it to the city of Augusta HAZMAT who reponded and said it was not their problem. When we were called by a citizen to report the oil sheen, it was at least 1 week after gov had been contacted. We responded and wrapped the 40' of boom we had (from EPD) around the boat. Started working on the Coast Guard to get them up to pump off the tanks. When we first responded to the scene, garden hoses and fire hoses were set up that had been draining the water/oil in the boat directly into the river. We wrapped the boom on Thursday. On Saturday we took out the Coast Guard and placed 75' more boom around the boat.
The owner was gone when the boat was abandoned at the marina. We will be working with tow boat USA in Sav. to reclaim the vessle most likely to destroy it

tbonitatibus
4
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tbonitatibus 01/18/10 - 08:16 pm
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George Eskola at WJBF augusta

George Eskola at WJBF augusta covered the story Thur and Wed. It is still on their website. It describes much of what led to the current state of the NET WEB.

Coolbreez
0
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Coolbreez 01/18/10 - 08:29 pm
0
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Why did the cities HAZMAT

Why did the cities HAZMAT team think it wasn’t their job? I believe it’s on our shore line.

RammaJamma
0
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RammaJamma 01/18/10 - 10:29 pm
0
0
Is this the boat stuck on the

Is this the boat stuck on the shore when you cross the river on 520??

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